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Guillermo Del Toro and 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Co-Writer Lucy Alibar Team for Universal's 'The Secret Garden'

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by Beth Hanna
February 5, 2013 12:29 PM
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Lucy Alibar, right, and Quvenzhane Wallis, left
Lucy Alibar, right, and Quvenzhane Wallis, left

Guillermo del Toro is a busy man with his hands in many pies. The latest project with his fingerprints on it has landed at Universal, reports Deadline. It's a new film version of Frances Hodgson Burnett's children's classic "The Secret Garden." (One of Del Toro's two amigos, Alfonso Cuaron, did a lovely 1995 film version of the author's "The Little Princess.") The project will be penned by Oscar-nominated "Beasts of the Southern Wild" co-screenwriter Lucy Alibar, and will be produced by del Toro.

The studio had hopes for del Toro taking the director's chair, per Deadline, but he's busily working on both "Pacific Rim" (due in theaters this summer) and its sequel, as well as a stage production of his Oscar-nominated "Pan's Labyrinth." He will next direct the haunted house film "Crimson Peak."

Alibar's feature writing debut was "Beasts," which she co-wrote with director Benh Zeitlin -- also nominated for a Best Directing Oscar.

Only time will tell if the project can rival Agnieszka Holland's wondrously poetic 1993 version of "The Secret Garden," released by Warner Bros. and starring Kate Maberly as Mary Lennox and Maggie Smith as the pinch-faced housekeeper Mrs. Medlock.

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